What happens after my claim is reported as fraud?

Once an unemployment claim is reported as fraudulent due to Identity Theft, the State Workforce Agency will begin an investigation. This investigation will try to determine if the claim for unemployment benefits is legitimate and if it is not, the state will begin the process to recover any benefits that have been paid out.

 

Unfortunately, State Workforce Agencies are tight lipped about what actually happens during a fraud investigation because a) intentional unemployment fraud is a misdemeanor or felony offense and until the investigation is completed and charges are filed, the agencies will not share information with the public and b) providing step-by-step actions can tip off the fraudsters who are filing identity theft claims.  Currently, scammers are sharing intelligence and cheat sheets on the dark web on which states are paying unemployment benefits and no one wants to provide additional information to help them defraud the system.

 

As an general rule, states will conduct an investigation using a variety of sources to confirm your identity.  This can include exchanging data with other state and federal agencies, flagging names and Social Security Numbers that have been used in the past by Identity thieves, and using new technology to verify your identity, such as using selfies to simulate an in-person ID check.  The state may reach out to you for additional information during their investigation and it is important to respond to those requests as quickly as possible.

 

Under normal circumstances, an identity theft investigation may take some time to resolve due to the complexity of the situation.  Due to the sheer number of claims being filed, the state agencies being overwhelmed, and fraud cases continuing to climb, it may take some time to reach a resolution in your case.  A handful of states will provide a confirmation once you report your claim as fraudulent, but many will not.  Be patient and look for any correspondence from the state.  If you are involved in a identity theft case, make sure that you respond quickly and timely to any request for information from the state. Providing the state with the additional information they need to verify your identity will help move your case along.